The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has worked with marijuana eradication programs all over the United States’ territory, using almost $14 million to operate them. Lawmakers are now considering the elimination of the program.

Already, twelve members of the Congress are pushing to ditch marijuana eradication funds and operations to use the money to fund different programs that may have a more significant impact.

DEA) has worked with marijuana eradication programs all over the United States' territory. Photo credit: The Smoking Bud
DEA) has worked with marijuana eradication programs all over the United States’ territory. Photo credit: The Smoking Bud

Pulling marijuana is expensive

Last year, the marijuana eradication program in New Hampshire was one of the leading examples of the inadequacy of the programs to control marijuana production. Around $20,000 were used to implement the program that ended pulling a single grow site where 27 plants were found.  Utah, on the other hand, used $70,000 and no marijuana plants were removed.

However, the DEA did pull almost 3 million marijuana plants last year, and in those operations, authorities were able to seize nearly 2,000 weapons, only in California. The problem seems to be linked to the particular State, then.

The first action to improve the way marijuana eradication funds are used was to study which states needed funds and how much money was necessary for each program. This led to the elimination of marijuana eradication programs in Alaska, Colorado, and Vermont.

Kentucky, California, Tennessee, Georgia, and Washington are still receiving a considerable amount of money to encourage these programs. The first two are the states were more marijuana plants have been eradicated.

This year, for example, Washington received more than $700,000 to activate the program. These funds are considered alarming by some critics that point out that Washington is the only state where people can not grow their own plants, and recreational marijuana can only be bought in stores, while in the DC happens the contrary.

California’s status

While California is among the states where the eradication programs are effective, voters in the state will once again reconsider the legalization of recreational use of marijuana. The final decision on this issue may significantly affect the way the DEA operates in the state.

The Proposition 64 needs more than half of the voters’ population to pass, but if it does, recreational use of marijuana -and not only medicinal use- will be allowed to residents of the sunny state. So far, the drug remains illegal.

To some people, California’s choice is relevant to the rest of the nation and allowing recreational use of marijuana in this state may open the door to eliminate the federal prohibition, considering the pressure California can put in national politics.

The proposition document is backed by several companies, political actors and health professionals that have raised a significant amount of money to reinforce the campaign. Detractors have failed in trying to raise an equal sum of money for their campaign. 

Members of Congress fighting to stop the DEA

“It makes zero sense for the federal government to continue to spend taxpayer dollars on cannabis eradication at a time when states across the country are looking to legalize marijuana. I will continue to fight against DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program in Congress and work to redirect these funds to worthwhile programs,” said Rep. Ted Lieuto The Denver Post.

Other 11 representatives in the Congress agree that the Domestic Cannabis Eradication Program must end. The DEA, on the other hand, considers necessary the aggressive strive halt the spread of cannabis cultivation in the country, considering that marijuana is the primary drug of abuse grown within the U.S. borders.

Source: Denver Post